Kilkenny Masters

John Bradley


This article part of the series: History of Kilkenny Chess Club - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Kilkenny Masters 1993

Jack Lowry invited Spassky to become honorary president of our club. The world champion asked what it involved. When told nothing other than lending his name, he smiled. On 6 April 1991 he sent a letter to Jack saying simply 'I have always wanted to be an honorary president'. The letter, somewhat faded now, and a photograph hang in an alcove in the Club House Hotel. In December the club received Christmas greetings from Spassky in which he declared 1992 to be the year of the gambit. He wanted us to experiment, to imagine, to be playful and enjoy the game.

Ad astra. The boost given by Spassky's visit made us want to reach for the stars. It is one thing to be ambitious, another to be able to deliver. Quo vadis? What way?

In 1993 there was only one Irish IM, Mark Orr, who lived in Scotland. There were five Irish national masters, two of whom, Eamon Keogh and Philip Short played regularly at Kilkenny. It was enough for Jack to suggest that we should upgrade the Open into a Masters' Tournament. As chance would have it, WIM Rita Zimmerman moved to Ireland with her partner, the English champion IM Michael Hennigan. In addition, with the encouragement of Eamon Keogh, IM Alexander Baburin took up residence in Dublin. Suddenly a masters' tournament became a reality.

I played Rita Zimmerman on one occasion. I was on the wrong side of a Benoni. She exploited a small weakness in my position. She pounded it again and again until eventually it collapsed. She always dressed elegantly, usually in black. Banter. When asked afterwards why I had lost, I said (forgive me Rita, if forgiveness is needed) I had lost to the fork, the pin and the skewer but this was the first time I had lost to the cleavage. This was just a phrase, she outplayed me completely.

1993: 17th Kilkenny Chess Congress
Date: 26-28 November 1993
Venue: Club House Hotel
Sponsors: Kilkenny People, Smithwick's Brewery
Tournament director: Jack Lowry
Tournament controllers: Michael Crowe, Tom O'Sullivan

Open (2000+)

37 players

Major (1550-1999)

Over 60 players

Junior (below 1550)

Kilkenny Masters 2000

24th Kilkenny Chess Congress

Norkom European Masters

Venue: Club House Hotel, Butler House, Kilkenny Castle

Sponsor: Norkom Technologies

Tournament director: Jack Lowry

Masters

Kilkenny Masters 2001

25th Kilkenny Congress

Norkom International Masters

Date: 30 November--2 December 2001

Venues: Kilkenny Castle, Butler House & Club House Hotel

Sponsor: Norkom Technologies

Tournament director: Jack Lowry

Masters

Kilkenny Masters 2002

26th Kilkenny Chess Congress

Venue: Butler House & Club House Hotel

Tournament director: Jack Lowry

Masters

Major (1600-1999)

James Mason (1200-1599)

Challengers (below 1199)

Kilkenny Masters 2003

27th Kilkenny Congress

Date: 28-30 November 2003

Venue: Butler House & Club House Hotel

Tournament director: Jack Lowry

Masters

Kilkenny Masters 2004

28th Kilkenny Chess Congress

Date: 26-28 November 2004

Venue: Butler House & Club House Hotel

Tournament director: Jack Lowry

Masters

Since 2005 the Kilkenny Masters' results, with an always incisive commentary, have been posted on the ICU website by Gerry Graham.


Created 2014-05-21 ◦ Last updated 2014-07-23 ◦ Editor UOB


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